Ozwald Boateng Celebrates Black Excellence With Idris Elba, Dizzee Rascal & Many More At London Fashion Week

Ozwald Boateng featured U.K. rappers, actors, and models to highlight Black British talent on his return to London Fashion Week.

Ozwald Boateng returned to London Fashion Week after a 12-year hiatus with a stunning display of Black British talent.  

Idris Elba stole the show, sauntering down the runway for the grand finale wearing a dapper black suit. Earlier in the week, he hinted at leaving acting for a full-time music career. However, after this most recent display, he may want to add modeling to his new plans.  


The show is being dubbed as the ultimate celebration of Black British excellence, with many talented artists and musicians also donning Ozwald Boateng designs down the runway. Musicians Dizzee Rascal, Goldie, PA Salieu, Kojey Radical and Unknown T, rapper and filmmaker Rapman, and Top Boy actor Nicholas Pinnock were among the famous models.  

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Rappers Akon, Giggs, and Stef London were among the stars gathered to witness the spectacle.  

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Ozwald Boateng incorporated traditional African prints into his colorful designs adorning the models while they stalked the runway to an eclectic soundtrack. Speakers blasted a mixture of Afrobeats and classic hip hop and soul during the show. A musical highlight was the gospel choir’s rendition of Soul II Soul’s classic, “Back To Life (However Do You Want Me).” 

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Ozwald Boateng Black A.I Collection  

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The show paid homage to modern British African changemakers, which was important for Ozwald Boateng to highlight. The first Black tailor to set up shop on Savile Row spoke to the Evening Standard about the progression in the industry. 

“I did my first catwalk show in 1994, but I’ve been designing since the early Eighties, and the transformation is interesting,” Boateng said. “When I grew up in the Eighties, being black was not easy. You know, I’d get chased down the street.” 

However, he says things have changed since then. “There are more people of color in the industry now then I have ever known before. I was always the only Black person in the room, for decades, and I’ve been to I don’t know how many events — like the Fashion Awards. Now it’s a wholly different experience. It’s actually quite mind boggling for me, and also exciting and great to see how the business has shifted and changed.” 

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